Gross National happiness

Bhutan is the only country to have officially adopted gross national happiness instead of the gross domestic product as the main development indicator. In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world. His Majesty, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the king of Bhutan, is the founder of this philosophy – Gross National Happiness. This philosophy inherently is based upon the proposition that there is something inbuilt phenomena which can promote the happiness of the people not only through material comforts but also through shared spiritual values. It is a non-quantifiable ultimate objective of every human being. In Bhutan this philosophy is used as the fundamental political thought and objective in governance while other economic variables and material elements are used as tools to either increase or achieve it. It tries to strike out the balance between the happiness achieved through material benefits and the spiritual satisfaction. This balance can be as a result of the experiences and belief that increased modern material comfort has not increased the happiness proportionately. If progressed made by the economic prosperity can be used as the yardstick of development, the non-quantifiable spiritual happiness can also be used as the indicator of development and progress.

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